Geographic Search: Internet Archive Television News Archive

This map allows you to interactively explore every location mentioned in all half million hours of the TV News archive to understand in more detail how the geography of coverage has changed over time and how it differs across television stations.

You can zoom into the map and click on any location and a popup window will appear. Click on the "View Shows" link on the popup to open a new browser window that will run a search for mentions of that location and give you a graphical overview of its television news coverage. You can use the search box at the top right to type in the name of a location of interest and jump right to that location.

By default the entire time period June 4, 2009 (the start of IA's archive) through October 8, 2013 (the end of this pilot analysis) is displayed. Click and drag the two slider boxes at the left and right edges of the timeline slider at the bottom of the page to narrow the time frame to display only locations mentioned in broadcasts during a specific timeframe. You can drag the start and end sliders to the same date to show locations mentioned on a single day.

You can also use the dropdown at the top-right to filter to display only those mentions from shows on a particular television station. By default it displays "ALL_STATIONS" which shows all mentions from all stations, but you can select a specific station and it will redraw the map to only show mentions from that station. Note that some stations may only have a few broadcasts in IA's archives and thus the map may appear blank for some stations. Some stations may only have broadcasts recorded during certain time periods, so you might also try adjusting the time slider if you don't see anything.

Keep in mind as you delve into this map that you're going to find quite a few errors. Those range from errors in the underlying closed captioning ("two Paris of shoes") to locations that are paired with onscreen information (a mention of "Springfield" while displaying a map of Massachusetts on the screen). Thus, as you click around, you're going to find that some locations work great, while others have a lot more error, especially small towns with common names.

What you see here represents our very first experiment with unlocking the geography of television news and required bringing together a number of cutting-edge technologies that are still very much active areas of research. While there is still lots of work to be done, we think this represents a tremendously exciting prototype for new ways of interacting with the world's information by organizing it geographically and putting it on a map where it belongs!